Mandriva is another one of the Linux distributions that has been around for quite some time. Beginning as Mandrake Linux, the company MandrakeSoft was forced to change its name when sued by the Hearst Corporation because of the claims that Mandrake Linux was inspired by their comic character "Mandrake the Magician". So the change in name happened in 2005, but the name change wasn't the only change in 2005. At the same time Mandriva acquired Lycoris and Conectiva. So Mandriva Linux became a combination of Mandrake Linux and Conectiva Linux.
Because of these changes, the Mandriva of today is not the Mandrake of yesterday. The latest version of Mandriva (named 2010) is a modern take on the Linux distribution and in this article you are going to be treated to a walk through of the installation. NOTE: This installation will be done via VirtualBox, so some of the information you might see may or may not apply to your installation.
This installation will be accomplished with the help of the Live CD. You can download the Live CD from the Mandriva download page. You will notice, on that page, there are a number of different downloads. For this installation the download you want is the One 2010 download. Once you have downloaded that Live CD and burned it onto disk, put that disk in your target machine's disk drive and reboot the machine.
Unlike most Live CDs, with the Mandriva Live CD you will have to answer some questions as well as agree to a EULA. This always takes me by surprise, but it's a necessity if you want to boot up Mandriva. So agree to that EULA and boot up the Live distro.
Once you are up and running you will see the Install icon on the desktop. Double click that icon to begin the installation. And, of course, the first screen you will see is the inevitable "Welcome" screen. You can just click the Next button to actually begin the installation.
The first work you will have to take care of is the partitioning of your drive. Figure 1 shows the user-friendly configuration tool. With this tool you can either choose to use the free space (the easiest method), or you can create your own, custom partition configuration. As you can see (in Figure 1) this is being installed on a Virtual hard drive 16 Gigs in size. Since this space hasn't been partitioned, it sees it as free space. So I will select the Free Space option and click the Next button.
Unused hardware support
This is a feature unique to the Mandriva installation. Once you have partitioned the hard drive the installation will compare the available hardware against the installable packages. Any packages that would not be used by the available hardware are not installed. This ensures your kernel will not be loading unused modules which will only slow down boot process, take up space, and use battery. Figure 2 shows the this screen. Just click Next and allow this process to happen. This will take some time (depending upon the speed of your hardware and the amount of packages that will not be installed).
After you hit the Next button you will immediately see the installation progress window (see Figure 3). Depending upon your hardware, this could take some time. Of course you will also be greeted by different information windows during this step. You will learn nothing new by watching...so grab yourself a soda or go play some WoW for a bit and come back when the installation progress reaches its goal.
After all of the packages have been installed you will have to deal with the bootloader installation. Your best bet is to stick with the defaults. If you load the bootloader on the wrong disk your installation will not boot.
As soon as you click the Next button you can then add, delete, or modify all of the entries in your boot menu. This is another section of the installation process that you should leave to the defaults. The only reason you would want to modify any of this information is if you are dual booting or you need to pass specific parameters to Grub for one of your entries. But more than likely, this step will be left to the defaults, so just click the Next button in this window as well.
The final installation window is the bookend for the Welcome screen - the Congratulation screen. This window will inform you to remove your Live CD and reboot your machine. Do this to complete the installation process.
Of course you are not completely finished. Did you notice something missing from the installation process? No root password was created and no users were created. Both of these steps are taken care of post-installation. In fact, both configurations are taken care of in one screen (see Figure 5).
After you complete this step, click the Next button only to find yourself on one more screen. This final screen wants you to register with Mandriva, take a survey, and contribute to Mandriva. You can decline all of this if you like by scrolling down and clicking the Decline buton.
After you either decline or complete the various optional information you will finally get to log into your newly installed Mandriva 2010 Linux installation. congratulations, you are the proud user of an outstanding, user-friendly Linux box.